Hey guys! Lots of stuff going on...First of all congrats to the winners of the newsletter's "Write about Naruto" contest (see article below). Also, we're going to be at Anime Expo this weekend from July 2~5 at the LA Convention Centre, so if you have the chance stop on by our booth, say hello and enter to win some cool stuff there! Finally, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @crunchyroll!!!
Hello everyone! Let me say that it was super hard to select a winner out of all the amazing entries we had for the "Write about Naruto" contest. There were stories, poems and in-depth articles discussing Naruto and the culture of anime. It was impossible to choose just one winner, so we decided to choose 3!! So we would like to start off by saying congratulations to this week's winner: Luke Neville!
Our winners will receive a special Naruto prize pack filled with all sorts of cool Naruto merchandise! The other 2 winners will be featured in next week's and the week after's newsletter! Thanks again to everyone who entered and stay tuned for MORE exclusive newsletter contests.
Naruto is a series concerning the inner struggles each human being is confronted with: the invariable choice, to be good and virtuous, or to be evil and pursue our goals at any cost. No character in the Naruto saga, Manga or Anime, quite represents this dichotomy with such clarity as Gaara of the Sand.
Gaara, as a narrative device, is a direct contrast to the protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki. Despite growing up in a completely juxtaposed life, Gaara is the polar opposite to the titular character. After suffering an abusive childhood, and suffering numerous hardships, Gaara finally succumbed to the evil that swells inside each human being. He embraced the demon within.
As with Naruto, Gaara is a Jinchūriki , bearing the formidable One-Tailed Shukaku inside his frail human body. As a side-effect of this spiritual containment, Gaara suffers from insomnia, an ailment that affects the mind far more than it affects the body. This inability to sleep compounded with his traumatic childhood helps to justify many of his cruel actions, his sadistic behaviour and his hateful demeanour. How can one possibly hope to empathize with a race that has only caused them pain?
As Naruto suffered a similar childhood, and differing but comparable problems associated with his Curse, it would appear as though Gaara simply lacked the will to remain a good person, in contrast with the exuberant Naruto. However, this is a simple analysis, and a false one. Gaara’s disposition and actions are not driven by misanthropy, nor by misunderstanding, they are driven by “this world’s worst kind of pain”: loneliness.
Gaara employs the philosophy that in order to sustain his existence, he must vanquish all other human life; this goal reflects the emptiness of Gaara’s life. What could easily be regarded as sadism is instead a reflection of the circumstances in which Gaara finds himself: he is entirely alone, and “people cannot win against their loneliness.” Gaara deems it fitting to obliterate life (“as long as there are people in this world to kill, I will not cease to exist”), not because he wants to, but because it allows him to purge himself of the thought that maybe he is in fact responsible for his loneliness. One does not choose to be lonely, but one can strive to find company. Gaara cannot find company due to the nature of his existence; he is a monster. As such, it is a paradoxical fact that although he wishes to escape his own loneliness, he is trapped by himself.
It is only after he is defeated by Naruto in single combat, in a display of pure, incorruptible strength and valour that Gaara begins to see the fruitlessness of his endeavour. Though he was “born a monster” he need not live the life of a monster. Naruto, by defending those that he loves, presents Gaara with a new concept, that one can achieve strength and purpose through the protection of the people that they cherish. Coinciding with this epiphany, Gaara chooses to leave and re-evaluate his life, and to spend time with his siblings. However, he later returns to defend someone who he has no reason to defend, someone who he feels guilt and regret for harming. In this respect, Gaara becomes the complete opposite of his former self, rather than murdering any he deem fit; he will protect all those that require protection as long as they are a “virtuous person”.
Gaara may be the most complex character in the Naruto series, and most definitely reflects the ideas that the eternal battle between good and evil inside each human being is never a foregone conclusion, and that it is never too late to change.
Some people say that entertainment is fleeting - some things that were hilarious a few years ago now seem antiquated and passé today. However, there are some pieces of comedy or drama that manage to endure. Glass Mask is one of these gems.
Glass Mask started serialization in Hana to Yume more than 30 years ago in 1976. The Hana to Yume magazine has seen lots of wonderful manga such as Angel Sanctuary, Fruits Basket, Gakuen Alice and Skip Beat!. But none of these mangas have managed the feat that Glass Mask has – even sudden stops to the series and going on for years without knowing if the pauses would affect audience’s loyalty and attention. Casual and dedicated fans have not only stuck with it as a manga but much more - Glass Mask has been made into 3 different anime series, 1 live-action Japanese drama that ran for 2 seasons and one special, and even a Noh play! Now one of the anime series you might find familiar, has been adapted and added to Crunchyroll for the streaming generation.
The very first series was a, too short, 23 episode anime from 1984. It lends to a nice adaptation of the manga but is cut off shortly after the Helen Keller story arc. It is also a bit dated by having been made in the 80's. You'll notice new things in the 2005 series that would have been unthinkable in the 1984 series like cellphones. Also one of the great first moments of the series - seeing Maya play Bibi - is sadly missing from this original anime series.
Following the 1984 anime was a 3 episode OAV remake of the 1984 series in 1998. This OAV series looked back at the beginning of the Glass Mask story with an updated look to the animation - including giving Maya black hair. In between these two series was a Japanese live-action Glass Mask television series that spanned two seasons in 1997 and 1998 and one special. The girl who played Maya Kitajima (Yumi Adachi) was handpicked by the creator of the manga herself - Suzue Miuchi - just like Maya was picked by Tsukikage-sensei. But no matter what was done with the series fans still wanted more. Finally in 2005 one of our prayers was answered - not only was a new anime series broadcast but this one finally having a length worthy of the series!
From generations upon generations of overlapping fans, there's a reason that fans have stuck with the author through all of these years. Perhaps it’s the timeless essence of this particular series that keeps us always wanting more; or its subtle ability to quietly speak to what we secretly yearn for; or it’s the powerful performances and moments that capture hearts. All I know is that it's caught mine again and again. Now, as we have for years and years, we will watch to see what happens, not only on stage, but also between the destined rivals of Maya and Ayumi.
So now you want to go to con, but before you get your registration started there are several tips to keep in mind to have yourself a fun, enjoyable experience:
STAY HYDRATED. Walking around the convention center will be a workout all in itself, so it’s crucial that you drink plenty of water during your stay. It will keep you from feeling fatigued during those treks across the con. And no, coffee and soda don’t count.
BRING YOUR OWN FOOD. For every convention, there are bound to be convenient food vendors that have sodas and snacks for you…if you enjoy paying $3.00 for a bottle of Pepsi. Food and drink that are sold within the convention center tend to be overpriced, so it’s best to bring your own snacks to munch on if you get hungry.
SHOWER SHOWER SHOWER. You’re going to be in an enclosed building with thousands of other attendees just like you, so it’s going to become hot and sweaty within a couple of hours. When you’re in one place with this many people, you’re going to want to be as fresh as possible otherwise you’re going to smell it.
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES. If you plan on cosplaying throughout the con, once in a while you may want to take a break from those tight boots and heavy coats. Even the most comfortable costumes become stuffy within several hours, so you should always have an extra change of comfortable clothes with you just in case. Comfortable shoes are also a must for this occasion, unless you’re perfectly comfortable walking in heels for several days straight.
THINK BEFORE YOU BUY. So you see an amazing item that you feel you must own? Hold onto your wallet for a second and make sure that you really are getting the best bang for your buck. There are lots of shops in the Dealer’s Hall, and there’s a chance that item you might be eyeing is also available at the booth the next isle down for a much lower price. It’s also possible that your con could host a Swap Meet, an event where people sell and trade their stuff at a much lower price than any dealer could give you.
KEEP YOUR CAMERA READY. Every con experience is different, and it’s always great to capture the memories on film. The last thing you want is for your camera to die or your memory card/tape to run out of space. Always keep spare batteries and spare ammo closeby at all times so you don’t miss a moment.
BE POLITE TO ALL OTHER COSPLAYERS. I know it’s hard to withhold your fangasming if you see a really fantastic cosplayer in front of you, but you have to remember that they’re fans just like you who want to have fun as well. Always ask permission for a picture and be considerate of their personal space. If they do give you permission to glomp though, then feel free to do so.
SOCIALIZE! You never know who you will meet at a con, so don’t be afraid to talk to people you’ve never met before. They’re anime fans just like you, so at least you’ll have some common ground. Sometimes the coolest people you’ll ever make might come from a convention, so remember to get out of your shell and have some fun. A convention is always better when there are others to share the joy with.
HAVE A PLAN. Nothing sucks more than aimlessly wandering a convention without knowing what to do. Every convention will have a guide with a map and a schedule of events, so it’s best to note down the events that you want to attend. There’s no need to create a rigid schedule, but at least have an idea on how to spend the day. You’ll get more out of the weekend that way.
There are tons of other tips that I may have missed, but for me these are the absolute musts whenever going to any anime convention. Follow these tips and you can’t go wrong. You may also want to ask some other experienced con attendees for advice in case you still need help. Keep these basics in mind and you can’t go wrong, and remember to have a blast!
As Arashi starts to become more conscious, Kanako and Yayoi are must try even harder to maintain their presence and restore their energy to stay alive. However, they are fading as Arashi is gaining more energy. Kanako and Yayoi apologize for trying to take away Arashi's energy, and accept the punishments associated with such an act. However, Arashi, Kaya, Jun and Hajime join hands and find a way to divide the power they have to maintaining Kanako and Yayoi...but will it work...
The last of the Six Funeral Wreaths is Bel's twin brother, whom Bel supposedly killed. Bel suspects that Sil is an illusion, but he has to acknowledge that he is real when Sil shows him the birthmark that matches his own, as well as the scar that Bel gave him. Bel talks to the brother he was never supposed to meet again about the time Bel attacked him when he was little. Why is someone who is not supposed to exist alive? Irie at Melone Base says that it has something to do with Byakuran's ability, but he keeps quiet about the details…
March 3rd late evening - Hayate promised to give Hinagiku a birthday present to express his gratitude but the dollmaker turned him into a maid, he encountered another complication with a man confessing his love, and had to rescue Nagi. With all these things happening, he not only forgot about the present he wanted to give Hinagiku but also the duel they are supposed to have that will lift the curse if he wins. He races up to the clock tower to meet Hinagiku. Behind the bustling festival fell silence as the two faced each other.
Word of the Day
私(あたし)・僕 (ぼく)・俺 (おれ) - So last week we went over the formal “I”/ “me.” This week we’re more casual. 私(あたし, ATASHI) is more casual for girls; girls will sometimes say “ORE” (oh-rei) but it is HIGHLY frowned upon and don’t expect anyone to help you or seriously listen to you. Guys can either say僕 (ぼく, BOKU) or俺 (おれ, ORE) depending on the type of guy you are. “僕” boys maybe more preppy, nice, good looking and successful, where as “俺” boys are more like athletes, punks, tough guys or the yakuza. Remember if you don’t use the right one to match your personality, you might look a bit weird. Next time: "you"